Gembird DD-U3M2 is a compact docking station for M.2 solid-state drives (2230, 2242, 2260, 2280, 22110). This review will discuss the features of use, speed, and other interesting things.
But let’s talk about everything one by one. The user will receive the product in a small cardboard box, where the latter is placed on a milk-colored blister seal.
As for the design of the box itself, in my personal opinion, the manufacturer is a supporter of restraint – a minimum of bright inserts, icons listing the key features of the model, a passport in several languages and other interesting “things” that I personally advise you to pay attention to. However, all details on this “account” are already in the next section of the review.
The information from the box walls
Here we will start with the most interesting thing. The front wall indicates the connection format – a docking station for a desktop PC. Connection to a laptop, of course, is also possible. Among other, let’s say, “details”, it is worth noting an illustration of the product with the connected media, as well as five icons that display the key features and capabilities of the accessory.
The station’s equipment is indicated on one of the side faces. Let’s talk about it further.
The scope of delivery
Having familiarized yourself with the package and the data on its walls, it is time to take a look at the delivery set.
So, what’s in the box:
- Gembird DD-U3M2 docking station;
- USB-C/USB-C+AM cable.
There is no user manual as such on board, and this is understandable, since the use of this station does not require any special knowledge. As for the warranty documentation, in our case it is a receipt certifying the official purchase.
The specifications of Gembird DD-U3M2
- Input – USB Type-C 3.1 to C+AM adapter;
- slot for a storage device: M.2 (2230, 2242, 2260, 2280, 22110);
- dimensions: 66x51x13 mm;
- weight: 20 g;
- support for any M.2 SSD with SATA and NVME specifications, UASP and TRIM commands.
The case materials
The Gembird DD-U3M2 case is an extremely durable piece of plastic. Two of them to be exact – the entire top part, as well as the side panels plus a separate bottom wall, which seems to be “planted” in the body of the main one. The material of the fixation is not known to me personally, but it is at least thinly made.
The seam is barely noticeable after fitting. In addition to plastic, there is also a little rubber on board – small legs/nozzles around the perimeter of the bottom panel. The only thing I can say about the metal on the outside of the case is the edging of the USB C port.
I did not attempt to look inside and I do not advise you to do so, because the user case is not collapsible, which means that tampering will be noticeable in the service center. I’m sure there’s no need to explain what this means.
Impressions on the build quality
Along with the fineness of the assembly, I can’t help but note the quality of the workmanship. Extremely durable plastic that you won’t bend even under considerable compression with your fingers, plus a very good fit of the parts. The result is an excellent hardware quality product without any discounts or conventions.
The product feels quite massive in the hand, and personally I would say that it weighs more than the declared 20 grams. However, in fact, this massiveness plus some rubber around the perimeter of the bottom panel allows the station to confidently hold on any surface.
I also liked the combination of matte plastic with glossy edging, both near the interface on the top panel and on the top panel itself. It makes the product look “older” and I would even say more expensive. Thus, the appearance, as well as the build quality, gets the highest score. All this is worth your attention.
As for ergonomics, everything is simple. Directly on the top panel there is a media connection port, next to which there is an LED displaying the system operation, and a little bit aside there is a manufacturer’s logo.
In addition to the rubber feet mentioned around the perimeter of the bottom panel, it is also worth noting a sticker with a serial number and several ribbons of technical data: country of origin, labeling, etc.
There are no problems with connection to a PC/laptop. I confirm the manufacturer’s words – no additional power supply is required.
As for the connection to a smartphone, the possibility of which, in particular, is evidenced by the corresponding illustration on the brand’s website.
Unfortunately, my experience here was negative. It was not possible to connect to my VIVO Y31, as well as to the spare ORRO A58. Obviously, the power from these ports is not enough for such a connection.
As for the speeds. Of course, it is not possible to provide the speeds via USB bus that you will get when connecting the media to the corresponding “seats” on a PC or laptop. However, it is quite possible to count on speeds close to those of SATA solid-state drives. Below are two formats for connecting to the ASUS R414U, as well as information about the hardware under the hood of the laptop itself:
– results when connected to the USB Type C port
– results when connected to a USB port
Nevertheless, even taking into account the limitations in terms of connecting to smartphones, Gembird DD-U3M2 is worth the attention of those users who work a lot with a large number of M.2 media, because it is a very convenient and absolutely easy-to-use accessory that will significantly increase your productivity in this area.
Gembird DD-U3M2 is priced at 999 UAH ($27).